Sporting CP coach on Leao: “I have trained so many, but he was undoubtedly the best”

By Oliver Fisher -

Rafael Leao’s youth coach at Sporting Lisbon – Tiago Fernandes – has predicted his former pupil to be a huge success at Milan.

The Portugal U21 international joined the Rossoneri earlier in the month, becoming the club’s third signing of the summer in a €28m deal.

Leao revealed his delight to have sealed a move to the San Siro upon his arrival, while reports have claimed that Milan’s coaching staff have been left surprised by his first few training sessions.

The former Lille man was impressive in his debut for the club in Kosovo against Feronikeli, registering an assist for Fabio Borini’s goal.

Fernandes – who coached Leao at Sporting – has always held the forward in a high regard, and he has once again shed some light on Leao in an interview with TMW.

“Rafael Leao has the talent to play in all the best European clubs,” he said (via

“I met him when he was just 12-13 years old, training him in almost all of Sporting’s youth teams until his debut in the first team. 

“Only Cristiano Ronaldo in Lisbon had his talent at that age, I guarantee you.

“Rafael is a number 9, he has always played there. He reminds me of Ronaldo ‘il Fenomeno’ for his speed, technique and quality when he must be decisive. 

“I have trained so many boys: he was undoubtedly the best. He can solve a game by himself.”

Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao
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